1 of 2


: a visible mass of particles of condensed vapor (such as water or ice) suspended in the atmosphere of a planet (such as the earth) or moon
: something resembling or suggesting a cloud: such as
: a light filmy, puffy, or billowy mass seeming to float in the air
a cloud of blond hair
a ship under a cloud of sail
: a usually visible mass of minute particles suspended in the air or a gas
: an aggregation of usually obscuring matter especially in interstellar space
: an aggregate of charged particles (such as electrons)
: a great crowd or multitude : swarm
clouds of mosquitoes
: something that has a dark, lowering, or threatening aspect
clouds of war
a cloud of suspicion
: something that obscures or blemishes
a cloud of ambiguity
: a dark or opaque vein or spot (as in marble or a precious stone)
: the computers and connections that support cloud computing
storing files in the cloud
often used before another noun
cloud storage/backupcloud software
cloudlike adjective
or cloud-like
cloudlike swirls
cloudlike chocolate mousse

Illustration of cloud

Illustration of cloud
  • 1 cirrus
  • 2 cirrostratus
  • 3 cirrocumulus
  • 4 altostratus
  • 5 altocumulus
  • 6 stratocumulus
  • 7 nimbostratus
  • 8 cumulus
  • 9 cumulonimbus
  • 10 stratus


2 of 2


clouded; clouding; clouds

intransitive verb

: to grow cloudy
usually used with over or up
clouded over before the storm
of facial features : to become troubled, apprehensive, or distressed in appearance
her face clouded with worry
: to become blurry, dubious, or ominous
often used with over
the outlook is clouding over
: to billow up in the form of a cloud

transitive verb

: to envelop or hide with or as if with a cloud
: to make opaque especially by condensation of moisture
steam clouded the windows
: to make murky especially with smoke or mist
smoke clouded the sky
: to make unclear or confused
cloud the issue
: taint, sully
a clouded reputation
: to cast gloom over
cloud prospects for success

Example Sentences

Noun The sun is shining and there's not a cloud in the sky. flying high above the clouds It stopped raining and the sun poked through the clouds. a cloud of cigarette smoke The team has been under a cloud since its members were caught cheating. There's a cloud of controversy hanging over the election. Verb greed clouding the minds of men These new ideas only cloud the issue further. The final years of her life were clouded by illness. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
However, a cloud of uncertainty continues to hang over the organization. C.j. Holmes, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Mar. 2023 This luxurious-feeling topper features layers of cooling bamboo fabric, memory foam, down alternative filling, and more to make your mattress feel as soft as a cloud. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 10 Mar. 2023 Its second season began recently in Mexico under the same noxious cloud of Norman’s hyperbole. Tara Sullivan,, 9 Mar. 2023 Her Instagram is a cotton candy-pink cloud of ruffles, corsets, and marabou, only slightly twisted by the two snakebite piercings below her lower lip. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, 8 Mar. 2023 While the fire has been largely put out, a thick cloud of smoke and methane gas continues to cover the area, reducing visibility and the city’s air quality, while emitting a lingering, pungent odor. Rhea Mogul, CNN, 7 Mar. 2023 Ellie, crazed and exhausted, emerges into the cold air in a cloud of smoke. Randall Colburn,, 6 Mar. 2023 The contractual stalemate between Ngannou and the U.F.C., which most fans hoped would be resolved, is set to hang over the heavyweight division like a dark cloud. Emmanuel Morgan, New York Times, 5 Mar. 2023 Video footage from the scene showed thousands of protesters dispersing from the square in all directions amidst a cloud of tear gas smoke. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 5 Mar. 2023
Jackson died in 2009 at the age of 50 and always maintained his innocence, but the claims continue to cloud his legacy. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 30 Jan. 2023 All four of those top receivers are expected to return in 2023, which continued to cloud Harrell’s path to playing time. Mike Rodak |, al, 14 Jan. 2023 But with uncertainty continuing to cloud the global economy, oil markets could be in for a wild 2023 as well. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 21 Dec. 2022 Skies began to cloud up again by late afternoon and evening. Dallas News, 25 Feb. 2022 However, a looming shortage of analog chips threatens to cloud the outlook. Shiho Takezawa,, 10 Feb. 2022 Behavioral and infrastructural factors could cloud the forecast as well. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 23 Nov. 2022 That may cloud any attempt to discern whether the studies support or challenge the idea that beta amyloid directly harms neurons, the dominant but increasingly challenged hypothesis about what causes Alzheimer’s disease. Byjohn Travis,, 14 Nov. 2022 The hacks exploit a flaw in ESXi, a hypervisor VMware sells to cloud hosts and other large-scale enterprises to consolidate their hardware resources. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 6 Feb. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cloud.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English, rock, cloud, from Old English clūd; perhaps akin to Greek gloutos buttock

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1562, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cloud was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near cloud

Cite this Entry

“Cloud.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a visible mass of particles of water or ice in the form of fog, mist, or haze usually high in the air
: a usually visible mass of tiny particles in the air or bits of matter between stars
: a group of charged particles (as electrons)
: something resembling or thought to be like a cloud
a cloud of mosquitoes
under a cloud of suspicion
: something that appears dark or threatening
clouds of war
: the computers and connections that support cloud computing
storing files in the cloud


2 of 2 verb
: to make or become cloudy
: to darken or hide with or as if by a cloud
smog clouded our view

More from Merriam-Webster on cloud

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